Money Saving Tips for Frugal Families

  • Only buy what produce your family will eat before it goes bad.

  • Write a shopping list before you go to the store. Based on the meals your family likes, buy produce that is in season and on sale.

  • Stock up on non-perishable items when on sale or on a coupon at warehouse stores, or with online ordering from Amazon subscribe & save.  Stores
    from Whole Foods to Costco have their own coupon books

  • If you drink a lot of sparkling water, consider buying a soda machine.

  • Plan errands so you group together a few near each other for time efficiency (as well as gas if driving). Walk or cycle if feasible to get exercise
    while saving on gas.

  • Eat in when possible. Make double portions and freeze the extra to resist the temptation to eat out, or buy semi-homemade. While cooking from
    scratch is the cheapest, a grocery store rotisserie chicken can save big money over a meal out

  • Try to limit how many times you buy coffee house coffee or lattes, as they add up. Buy your own machine if you love espresso drinks.

  • At farmer’s markets, compare prices to the local grocery stores, and consider buying the last hour, when prices are often slashed

Household Expenses:
  • Consider getting rid of your landline phone, possibly adding more minutes to your cell phone instead.

  • Replace cable or satellite TV with a streaming service. If you have Amazon Prime, be aware of streaming included.

  • Use the public library for real books, or take out digital books with the Overdrive app.

  • Sell your baby gear that you don’t need any more, and buy new items used.

  • Trade boy and girl clothes with other families.  Vicky has an older boy and younger girl, and has found families with an older girl and younger boy
    to trade with.

Family Fun:
  • City/County recreation departments often have activities like soccer and karate for much cheaper than the private options. Some have swimming
    pools, too.

  • Compare the membership price of your favorite children’s museums or activities vs. cost of going each time. Prioritize one or two memberships
    that are most convenient and are bad weather friendly.

  • Many museums and attractions have one day a month with free admission, though they may be more crowded on that day. Similarly, some have
    free admission by neighborhood or only local residents. You can often find free passes or discount deals at grocery store chains, libraries, or other
    locations. For example, the San Francisco public libraries have passes for local residents for many attractions.

Other Ideas:
  • Trade your services. For instance, if you’re a personal organizer, trade your services with a personal trainer.  Or if you’re goot at business plans,
    write one up for a personal organizer in exchange for her time.

Early Planning for the Holidays
  • Start watching now for good deals on the holiday gifts you want to buy your children for Christmas or Hannukah (and plan where you’ll hide them!).

  • If you’ll be traveling over the holidays and hope to use frequent flyer miles, book your tickets ASAP (ideally the date they are released, typically 360
    days ahead) and watch for black out dates.  Flying on a holiday can save money though mess up family plans.
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